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News

NRG Energy Selects AV to Build the Nation’s First Privately-Funded EV Charging “Ecosystem”


November 18, 2010


AeroVironment will provide comprehensive EV charging solution to support the needs of Houston drivers

HOUSTON, Nov. 18, 2010 – AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) (NASDAQ: AVAV) has joined forces with NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) to bring the first privately funded, comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) charging “ecosystem” to drivers in America’s fourth largest city.  The ecosystem is an integrated network of products, services and payment plans that helps make EVs practical for drivers.  AV is the exclusive provider of home and public charging systems, installation services, energy usage monitoring and payment and subscription solutions in support of the Houston ecosystem, which can be deployed as a practical, integrated model in cities throughout North America.

In addition to supplying, installing, and supporting smart home and public overnight and fast charging stations, AV will also provide the integrated data collection, communication and analysis systems that will power NRG’s eVgosm network.  NRG plans to invest approximately $10 million in Houston’s public charging infrastructure, including installing a minimum of 50 high-powered fast charging stations by mid-2011.  The eVgo charging network will give Houston’s EV drivers ready access to charging stations along major freeways, in key shopping and business districts, at popular retailers, and in multi-family community and workplace parking areas within 25 miles or more of city center.

“This innovative charging ecosystem will make it easier for Houstonians to drive electric vehicles and contribute to a cleaner, more energy independent future for America,” said Tim Conver, chairman and chief executive officer, AV.  “We are proud to work with NRG and its partners to introduce a comprehensive EV charging solution to Houston, and look forward to bringing this driver-focused model to other cities in Texas and beyond.”

Conver added, “AV shares NRG’s vision of the importance of EVs in creating a healthier environment, more jobs and investment in our economy, while helping to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign energy supplies.”

“AeroVironment is playing a central role in creating this network and with it, bringing the benefits of electric vehicles to Houston,” said David Crane, president and CEO, NRG Energy. “AV’s demonstrated track record in EV charging solutions will help ensure this all-important first launch is successful.”

AV and NRG have developed a comprehensive charging solution that is ideally suited for NRG’s customers and is designed to make the use of electric vehicles convenient and easy. These innovative solutions include:

Level 2 Home Charging Dock – based on AV’s EVSE-RS+ model, a grid-connected residential (single-family or multi-unit) system that recharges EVs or plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and will turn drivers’ homes into convenient, smart refueling hubs.  Grid communication will allow the Home Charging Dock to charge automatically or be pre-programmed by NRG or the driver for optimal power draw so that it charges when energy consumption and energy costs are lowest.

Level 2 Commercial Charging Station – based on AV’s EVSE-CS model, a public level 2 charging dock, this system incorporates a tamper-resistant interface and secure smart card access, making it ideal for municipalities, retailers, shopping malls and wherever cars are parked and available for charging.  This charging system is designed to provide a safe, reliable charge for numerous electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models.

High Power DC Charging Station – based on AV’s EV50-PS, can recharge an EV in minutes using high-power, DC charging for busy drivers with very little time to spare. This charging method is similar to gas refueling, and the proprietary system is based on proven, fielded technology that has made AV the leading provider of mission-critical EV fast charge solutions to some of the largest companies in the world. 

Installation Services – members of AV’s growing network of local, licensed, trained and certified electrical contractors provide home assessment, installation, customer training and support services to ensure easy and reliable operation and use of the charging network.

EV Network Services – in addition to residential and public charging systems, AV also provides data communications solutions that will allow individual subscribers to use any charger on the network, reserve charge stations for future use, and provide analytical tools and billing services for network operators.

AV is a proud partner of Nissan North America, providing the home charging dock and installation services in support of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF™.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES
NRG will host a conference call with David Crane on the Company’s EV support network this morning, November 18, at 10:30 am Eastern / 9:30 am Central / 8:30 am Mountain and 7:30 am Pacific. Reporters interested in participating should call 866.383.7989 (617.597.5328 international) passcode 30118185 - or listen online at http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=121544&eventID=3508325.

About NRG
NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 300 and S&P 500 Index company, owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Company’s power plants provide more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply more than 20 million homes. NRG’s retail business, Reliant Energy, serves 1.6 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers in Texas. A past recipient of the energy industry’s highest honors—Platts Industry Leadership and Energy Company of the Year awards, NRG is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of business and environmental organizations calling for mandatory legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NRG Energy is a founding member of the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com and www.evgonetwork.com.

About AeroVironment, Inc. (AV)
AV is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces and supports an advanced portfolio of electric transportation solutions and electric-powered Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).  AV’s comprehensive EV charging solutions include EV home charging, public charging, fast charging, data collection, grid-integrated communications and complete installation, training and support services for consumers, automakers, utilities, government agencies and businesses. AV’s industrial fast charging systems support more than 15,000 electric materials handling vehicles in mission-critical supply chains for Fortune 500 enterprises.  AV’s power cycling and test systems provide EV developers and EV battery manufacturers with market-leading simulation and cycling capabilities.  Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services use the company’s battery-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance and communication.  More information is available at www.avinc.com.

Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, our ability to perform under existing contracts and obtain additional contracts; changes in the regulatory environment; the activities of competitors; failure of the markets in which we operate to grow; failure to expand into new markets; failure to develop new products or integrate new technology with current products; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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